Henry Hastings Sibley was a fur trader, politician, and brigadier general. One of the founders of the state of Minnesota, he was its first governor in 1858. In 1862, Sibley was appointed to put down the Dakota Conflict, or Sioux Uprising, the most successful Native American resistance in U.S. history. He did so in six weeks, then led the punitive expedition against the Dakota in 1863, and left the service as a brigadier general of volunteers. Sibley became a leading citizen of Minnesota. Sarah Jane Steele (1823-69) married Sibley and bore him nine children. In this photo he wears the uniform of a brigadier general of volunteers. At his feet can be seen the base of the metal stabilizer that held photo subjects in place during the lengthy exposure time.

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J. E. Whitney
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